Technology advance cuts Triton Knoll cost as onshore infrastructure is 'designed out'

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 21 Sep 2017

FURTHER cost savings have been achieved by the team behind Triton Knoll offshore wind farm as the adoption of new technology brought major benefits.

The intermediate electrical compound has now been removed from the final design of the onshore infrastructure.

Originally planned to be built near Orby, Lincolnshire, it would have had a footprint of 1.8 hectares and at the time of proposal was considered necessary to manage power flows along one of the longest, high voltage, underground cable routes in the world. 

But technical modelling and subsequent collaboration between the project team and contractors, has allowed for it to be designed out, with millions thought to be saved.

Project director James Cotter said: “We are so pleased to be able to announce this. It’s great news for local people in Orby; the change in design addresses issues raised during the planning process, and will reduce the overall visual and construction impacts of the project in the local area.

“It is also great news for UK energy consumers as the removal of the IEC helps the project make significant cost savings which in turn is helping drive down electricity bills.”

Awarded a subsidy as part of this month’s Contract for Difference round, it is being developed as a joint venture between Innogy and Statkraft, with the former managing the project. 

The innovative thinking behind the redesign is due to the technological expertise and experience that exists within the Triton Knoll project team, coupled with the expertise of its contractors who confirmed the feasibility of removing the compound during initial detailed design works.

From the array 32km off the coast, cables will hit land just north of Anderby Creek, heading as direct as possible south west to the existing substation at Bicker Fen, just west of Boston - a distance in total of more than 100km.

Electrical system lead engineer Mick Chowns said: “We utilised our expertise and access to advanced power system modelling software to challenge everything from the cable capacity, design and manufacture, to its installation and the dynamics of the power network. This meant we could optimise the power flows without the need for an IEC. Then we applied a collaborative strategy with our contractors, and challenged them to demonstrate that they could deliver such a solution.”

On Monday the Triton Knoll team announced MHI Vestas' new 9.5MW turbine as the preferred option, ahead of likely financial investment go-ahead next year. If positive it anticipates commissioning the 90-turbine array in 2021.

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